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Whyte, Jon.

Banff (Alta.), Altitude Publishing, c1985. 128pp, cloth, $18.95, ISBN 0-919381-15-4. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Lillian M. Turner

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

Whyte, an award winning poet, as well as talented author and journalist, is a member of a Stoney Indian family who have lived in Banff for one hundred years. In this book he tells the story of the Indian people of this area and the nearby plains whose lives and culture were forced into upheaval with the coming of white traders, white settlement, the building of the Canadian Pacific railway, and the annihilation of the buffalo herds. Much of the remaining Stoney and Kootenay heritage is now preserved in the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

The author cites findings of archaeological surveys done in various locations from 1880, occasioned by the building of the railroad, and again in 1983-84 by the Trans-Canada highway plans. Evidence indicates the presence of the first North Americans some 11,500 years ago. He continues with an interesting history of the area, often quoting early explorers, fur-traders, and Hudson's Bay Company representatives, as well as native stories passed on by word of mouth. The Banff Indian Days' celebrations initiated in the 1880s to entertain tourists brought by the railroad to Banff Springs Hotel, which continued to 1978, did much to preserve their culture and art. The account is embellished by forty-four pages of photographs and paintings, several in colour, many of them courtesy of the Whyte Museum.

Indians in the Rockies is handsomely bound and designed, and is recommended for public and secondary school libraries. While of primary interest for local Alberta history, it will be a useful resource for a native studies unit in a senior Canadian history course. A bibliography is included.

Lillian M. Turner, York Memorial C.I., Toronto, Ont.
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